(contains much swearing)
To: Every Director In The World,
Hello. TV's James Moran here, with a small request...
STOP SHAKING THE FUCKING CAMERA AROUND. FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
Someone sweated blood on that script, and now a large crew is sweating more blood to bring it to life, actors are pouring their hearts out, people with gaffer tape and odd tools are staying up late and getting up early to build and maintain things, stunt people are risking life and limb to make it all look great. And I would REALLY LIKE TO SEE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. I cannot do that if you are SHAKING THE FUCKING CAMERA AROUND LIKE AN EPILEPTIC SITTING ON A BUCKING BRONCO WHILE STARING INTO A STROBE LIGHT.
Hey, don't get me wrong. I like a bit of dramatic shaky cam. I get the whole "documentary-style, let's just happen to catch the action" thing. Battlestar Galactica does it, but does it *properly* - most importantly, it catches the action, and then STAYS on the action. The camera's still moving, but it lets you see what is happening. But when you judder the camera in a frenzy, you are not doing that. You won't win any prizes for directing if I CANNOT SEE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. THAT IS NOT DIRECTING. THAT IS WANKING. You may as well stick a camera on a piece of string, spin it around your head, and film a big shaky blur for 90 minutes.
It's not much to ask for. Just make sure that the camera is pointing at the thing you're trying to film. That is my directing tip to you, trick of the trade, free of charge. Tell all your little director friends, too, pass it on. Thanks. Before I go cross-eyed from the fucking wobbly screen.
Oh, and by the way, if any editors are reading: There's no need to have 8000 cuts in under a second. You don't have to use tiny snippets from every single take and angle. Especially if it's a fight sequence, where it's more impressive if you don't interrupt the action so much. Also, stop dropping out lots of frames and speeding it up so that it ends up looking like a fucking Benny Hill chase sequence. I've paid for sound *and* visuals. So just let me see what's going on. Cheers.
TV's James Moran, audience member